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Automatic Dog Feeder 


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Automatic Dog Feeder 

Written By: Will Debois 



Drill Press or Hand Drill (1) 


Hole Drill (1) 

Hot Glue gun & hot glue (1) 

Measuring tape (1) 

Sandpaper (1) 

Standard drill bits (1) 

Table saw (1) 

or you could use a handsaw, or the old 
fashioned hand saw 

Arduino Uno (1) 

Acrylic sheet (2) 

Plywood board (1) 

Parallax RFID Reader (1) 


Parallax/Futaba servomotor (1) 

Peanut Butter Jar (1) 

Lid from Peanut Butter Jar (1) 

Small Breadboard (1) 

wine cork (2) 

Wooden Rod (1) 

popsicle stick (1) 

Nails (2) 

2 to 3 inches long 


I am going to teach you how to properly set up an Arduino for this configuration and explain 
some basic programming. I am also going to explain how to build the system in a few simple 

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Automatic Dog Feeder 

Step 1 — Automatic Dog Feeder 

• Make sure that you have all of your 
components ready. 

• Take your plywood and cut it down 
to13 1 / 2 "by 9 1 / 2 ". 

Step 2 

• Next cut down one of the acrylic sheets into a 5" by 5" square. 

• Then using the remaining acrylic from the sheet, fabricate two 4%" by 1" blocks. 

• The 4 3 /4" blocks are used to raise the 5"x5" acrylic square so that the slider can be put 
under it to regulate the food flow. 

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Automatic Dog Feeder 

Step 3 

• After machining all of the acrylic parts, take a pair of tin snips and cut out a rough circle 
approximately in the middle of the peanut butter lid. Make sure the hole's diameter is 
bigger than 2". 

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Automatic Dog Feeder 

Step 4 

• Once you have fabricated all of 
your pieces, you can begin to put 
together your dog feeder. 

• Start by measuring the distance 
between your two 4W blocks and 
make sure that they are far enough 
apart that the food gate can slide 
easily through them. 

• After confirming they are far 
enough apart, screw them in using 
self-tapping screws. Make sure to 
go slowly because the acrylic can 
crack very easily. 

• Use the drill press and hole-cutter 
bit to cut 2"-diameter holes in the 
all three layers; the square, the 
gate, and the wood. This is the 
main passageway for the food to go 

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Automatic Dog Feeder 

Step 5 

• Next align the peanut butter jar lid 
over the hole, making sure that it 
allows the entirety of the holes 
drilled into the wood and acrylic to 
be exposed. 

• Screw the peanut butter jar lid in 
very carefully making sure that you 
do not crack the acrylic. 

• The picture shows what it should 
look like when it is assembled 

Step 6 

• Once all of this is done you will build the drive rod. 

• I used a 10" long 1/4" diameter rod. 

• Drill a two small holes into the drive rod. 

• Drill two holes into the popsicle stick. One is going to be used to screw the popsicle stick 
to the servo and the other is for one end of the drive rod to be attached to. 

• Glue a rubber cork to the food gate and push a nail through the unoccupied end of the drive 
rod into the cork. 

• Note: You may have to tweak the placement of these parts; it is going to be 
different for everyone. 

• You are now ready to start programming. 


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Automatic Dog Feeder 

Step 7 



Digital Inpul/Qutput 

I ll I li ll I I \i li |i 

• Here is the electrical design for the Arduino and breadboard. 

• Assemble your electronics exactly as they are here. Note that the RX on the Arduino must 
be unplugged or else the computer will be unable to read the Arduino. 

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Automatic Dog Feeder 

Step 8 

te first page of code here 
nd second immediately following it 

• Download the two PDF files at the 
top of this guide. 

• Open the Arduino IDE. Insert the 

COde from RFID-readerf or- 

Arduino.pdf first. Immediately 
after that, on a new line, insert the 
COde from bytesread . pdf . This 
should be the only code in the file. 

• Make sure that you save your 

• Note: Because we all have different 
kinds of dogs and I do not want to 
feed my beagle as much as I feed 
my German shepherd, I have made 
it convenient to find the code that 
controls the amount of food given 
the dog by changing the color of 
the numbers to red. 

• Insert the command delay (x) 
where x = the number of 
milliseconds the food valve is left 

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Automatic Dog Feeder 

Step 9 

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• Once you have done all of this, test 
it out and tweak it. It will take the 
hassle out of feeding your dogs 
forever. So CELEBRATE! 

Fabricating the materials is not very difficult if you have basic knowledge of how to use tools and 
basic wiring. The complications will arise when trying to modify the code other than in the places 

This document was last generated on 2013-02-15 11 :23:11 AM. 

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